A mini-split ductless system — a heating and cooling alternative that doesn’t require air ducts — can solve a number of problems, even in a home that has existing HVAC equipment.
What is a Mini-Split Ductless System?
Mini-split ductless systems are designed to heat or cool one specific room or zone, which is why they don’t require ductwork to move air throughout the home. With a multi-split ductless system, multiple indoor units (up to five) can be connected to one outdoor unit. This allows for independent control of the temperature in various areas.
Where are Mini-Split Ductless Systems Typically Used?
Mini-splits are ideal for homes without a central heating and cooling system already in place (so no existing ductwork). They are also a cost-effective solution for room additions or converted living spaces. Connecting a new or renovated space to the home’s central air system can be expensive and may even require an upgrade to handle the additional space.
Advantages of Ductless Mini-Splits
The indoor unit can be mounted on a wall or ceiling or even in a closet.
Installation requires only a three-inch hole in the wall for the conduit. However, a professional installer is recommended to ensure proper design and installation.
Flexibility and convenience
Separate controls for each unit make it easy to tailor heating (or cooling) to your family’s specific needs by lowering (or raising) the temperature in rooms that are not being used or to meet the unique requirements of different rooms and people in the household.
Remote controls allow you to control the temperature of the room you are in, without having to rely on a central thermostat that controls the entire home.
Doubles as air conditioning and heating system
Ductless mini-split is one system that can provide both heating and cooling with the same equipment.
Sleek, modern look
The unit can be seamlessly adapted to fit any decor.
Saves money and energy, gain efficiency
Traditional central air systems use ductwork to move the air throughout the home. The heated or cooled air can be wasted through tiny leaks and cracks in the ducts or, if the ducts are dirty, the equipment may require more energy to maintain the comfort level of the home. Mini-splits are high-efficiency systems that eliminate the ductwork, and the flexibility of zone or room control further maximizes their efficiency. As a result, mini-splits are less expensive to operate than central air systems.
Ductwork needs to be maintained and can develp leaks that make the system less efficient.
Window air conditioners provide inadvertent access to intruders.
A well-maintained ductless system can last 20 years, compared to 15 years for a traditional ducted HVAC system.
Tax credits and rebates
Various tax credits, rebates and other incentives may be available for heat pump upgrades.
Ductless Mini-Split Disadvantages
Higher upfront costs than some systems
While they are less expensive to operate, they are more expensive to install.
Some people may not like the look of the indoor units
The units are visible, unlike a furnace and air conditioner that are typically separate from the living areas of the home.